After years of reporting losses in the glare of the public eye, Massmart this week announced plans to go private as a fully owned subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart, a surprise move the company and analysts say offers the best chance of turning around its flagging fortunes.

CEO Mitchell Slape, who will step down at the end of the year after three years at the helm, said Massmart would be able “to move faster” as a private entity...

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